Seafood operators caught in probe



UP TO 45 warning letters and several penalty notices have been issued to Far North Coast seafood operators after a three month probe.

The joint operation between the NSW DPI and NSW Food Authority checked nearly 300 restaurants, seafood retailers, wholesalers, processors and commercial fishers between Tweed Heads and Eden for black market seafood.

The warning letters and penalty notices issued to FNC operators were among over 300 issued to various operators.

Primary Industries minister Ian Macdonald said the State Government would take a zero tolerance approach to anyone found breaching the Acts.

"While there were relatively few offences recorded under the Fisheries Act, it was a different story under the Food Act with 255 recorded in total," he said.

"There is a real health risk involved if people have allergies for example, and on top of that, the public has a right to know exactly what they are paying for."

Minister Macdonald said substantial levels of product substitution and failure to correctly label which country food was from had been detected during the operation.

Mr Macdonald said compliance officers would be out in the coming months checking up on operators, especially in the lead up to Christmas.



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